Felex Share Herald Reporter
FIVE Zanu-pf incumbent chairpersons retained their posts in provincial elections held at the weekend, with the major upset being witnessed in Mashonaland West where Cde Temba Mliswa beat an array of veteran politicians to land the chairmanship.
The results announced by the National Elections Directorate led by national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo are, however, subject to confirmation and endorsement by the Politburo, the party’s highest decision-making body outside Congress.
Midlands and Manicaland provinces held their elections last month, while Mashonaland Central had them late last month.
Cde Mliswa, who is Hurungwe West legislator, garnered 9 185 votes, defeating Cdes Philip Chiyangwa (7 621), Nimrod Chiminya (3 387), former chairman John Mafa (704), Runesu Blessed Geza (542) and Guvheya Beta (216).
Cde Constance Shamu defeated incumbent Women’s League chairperson Cde Sarah Mahoka, while Cde Vengai Musengi assumed the post of youth chairperson.
In Harare, Cde Amos Midzi got 5 615 votes, while Cde Jason Passade garnered 3 011, Cde Forbes Magadu (872), Cde Rex Maketo (266) and Cde Justice Zvandasara (202).
Cde Angeline Matambanadzo is the chairperson in the Women’s League for Harare, while Cde Godfrey Gomwe is the new youth chairperson after defeating Cde Jimu Kunaka.
Professor Callistus Ndlovu (1 883) defeated his deputy Cde Killian Sibanda (592) and Cde Douglas Ndlovu (757) to land the Bulawayo provincial chairmanship.
The Women’s League and the Youth League posts in the province were won by Cdes Evah Bitu and Khumbulani Mpofu, respectively.
In Mashonaland East, incumbent chairperson Cde Ray Kaukonde won with 24 263 votes against Cde Phillemon Mutongi’s 2 616.
Cde Aquelina Katsande and Cde Luckson Kandemiiri won the women’s league and the youth league positions uncontested.
In Matabeleland South, Cde Andrew Langa retained his position after getting 5 547 votes against Cde Lloyd Siyoka (1 013) and Cde Phumuza Ndlovu (602).
The women’s league representative is Cde Alice Dube, while in the youth league Cde Washington Nkomo won uncontested.
Cde Richard Moyo (7 828) remains the Matabeleland North chairman after defeating Cde Reeds Dube (3 159).
Cde Madeline Bhebhe won in the Women’s League, while Cde Tamuka Nyoni won in the youth league.
In Masvingo, Chiredzi South legislator Cde Callisto Gwanetsa is the new chairman after garnering 11 474 votes against Cde Ailes Baloyi’s 7 362.
Cde Shyllet Uyoyo won in the Women’s League, while Cde Oliver Huruva won in the Youth League.
Announcing the results, Cde Khaya Moyo said the elections were held in “an atmosphere of peace, transparency and comradeship.”
“I am aware that some inconveniences could have been caused by inadequate provision of transport, late arrival of ballot papers and inaccuracies in some registers.”
“Corrective measures were promptly taken where applicable. I commend the team leaders for taking such responsibility.”
The elections were held using a secret ballot at party district level where at least 102 members in each district voted.
Cde Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, who supervised elections in Harare, said there were no complaints from the losing candidates.
“It was a house of celebration by both the winning and losing candidates,” he said. “The losing candidate (Cde Passade) congratulated the winner (Cde Midzi) and gave a speech saying although he lost it was the party that won.”
Mashonaland East team leader Cde Obert Mpofu said the elections ended well and “there were no issues at all.”
Cde David Parirenyatwa, who supervised Matabeleland South elections, was optimistic that those who lost would accept the results.
“So far there is no official complaint and I hope those who lost will accept the results and cooperate with the winners for the development of the party,” he said.
Mashonaland West team leader Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire said the elections were free and ended in a peaceful manner.
“The elections were free and fair and above all credible,” he said. “We would like to thank those who facilitated the process because they were able to identify problems and proffer solutions to ensure a successful election.”
Masvingo team leader Cde Nicholas Goche said there were “minor problems” in the province, but they did not affect the running of the elections.
“Yes, there were problems here and there in the election process, but the problems did not have any impact on the outcome of the elections,” he said. “There may have been arguments, but we managed to overcome the problems and successfully conducted the elections.”
Losing candidate for the chairmanship in Masvingo, Cde Baloyi said he did not accept the outcome of the elections.
He said he would submit a list containing alleged irregularities to the Politburo.
“I do not accept the results because there were a lot of irregularities in the election process, for example there are some party structures in areas such as Gutu and Bikita that were arbitrarily disbanded, meaning that some people who were supposed to vote ended up not voting,” he said.
“The voter registers that were used in the elections were not the correct ones, they were tempered with and, therefore, I do not accept the outcome and I will soon be writing a letter to the national party leadership expressing why these results should not stand.’’
The elections had a few challenges in some areas where voters raised concerns over apparent disparities regarding voters’ registers.
In Mhangura, police used tear gas to disperse crowds at a polling station where some voters confronted polling officers for barring them from voting because their names did not appear on the register.
In Masvingo, anti-riot police were also called in to intervene at Mudavanhu Primary School after voters became rowdy following the emergence of two registers.
One of the registers was reportedly prepared in Harare, while the other was prepared at the polling station.
Voting at Unit L Community Hall in Chitungwiza was interrupted on Saturday afternoon following a misunderstanding among the candidates, polling officers and voters.
The candidates sparked the row when they demanded separate ballot boxes for two districts, which were voting at the same polling station for the same candidates.
In Mashonaland West, voting failed to take place in Ward 11 after violence erupted following a dispute over the voters’ register.
Police officers who attempted to quell the violence were beaten by angry voters who also attacked the election presiding officer.
As the violence intensified, police reinforcements who were brought in from Chinhoyi had to fire teargas to disperse the voters.
Some of the protesting voters suffered minor injuries.